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Chapter 59

“I’ve got the flashlight,” Shelly said, “Let’s find the basement and see what’s ticking around here?”

“That Loco has a lot of nerve,” Allen sputtered. “First he puts you in danger and then he acts like I need him to tell me to protect you. The man has balls bigger than—I have a good mind to just quit!” It was worth a try, Allen thought, hoping Shelly would take the bait.

“Come on Allen! Don’t get your undies in a knot over Loco! We’ve got work to do. Let’s


“Now you’re giving me orders too. This business of being your ghost is not easy, and judging from this case, not fun.”

Shelly walked back into the hallway. She noticed the walls had empty squares where pictures had once been. She gazed through the swinging door that led to the kitchen. “What do you think?”

“I hate this house is what I think,” Allen said, having already passed through the door.

“I wish I could do that,” Shelly said as she swung the door open and found herself in a kitchen that seemed to be unable to decide what century it was in. The table in the center and the four chairs were all made of rough-surfaced wood, held together by dowels, not one nail

anywhere, while the refrigerator was modern, a stainless steel side by side with an ice maker in the door. The stove was far too small for the space it was in. Shelly saw the outline that was a giveaway that before this ancient looking wood burner stove had been put in this spot there had been a far larger, modern stove with a gas hook-up still in the wall. “He’s probably in the middle of redoing this kitchen back to the 1700’s Shelly said. “Weird!”

“The basement door is there, near the side entranceway,” Allen said.

Shelly was about to pull open the door to the basement when she heard a loud crack and the sound of someone cursing outside. She stared through the back window and in the dark saw what looked like a lantern, an orange flame burning dully inside. Lit by the flame she saw the silhouette of a gigantic man, a large axe swinging high over his head. The violence of the axe slamming down on what looked like a flat screen television made Shelly let out a frightened yelp.

“Shh, he’ll hear you,” Allen hissed. “Get away from the door.”

“That’s Mr. Ross out there, Allen. He just axed what looks like a new television.” She peered out the window again. “Oh my God, the girl is with him!”

“It is okay, Shelly. They’re talking and he’s eating it up like candy.” “Are you sure? Can you hear them?”

“I guess I can.” Allen was surprised he had been able to hear them through the door and wondered if once again his fear for a human being, this time not even Shelly, but a little girl talking to her axe-swinging father, had somehow made it possible for him to hear through the

kitchen door. Was fear the secret, he wondered. “Anyway, she’s sitting a safe distance away and chattering like a happy little magpie. I can’t hear what she’s saying, but she should be okay.”

“Allen, I don’t want anything happening to her while we’re on a wild ghost chase in the basement.”

“Look yourself. If anything, she seems to be bossing him around. Kids! I wonder if I had


“Let’s go,” Shelly said, starting down the basement stairs. She tried the light switch, but no lights came on. “Maybe he didn’t pay his last electric bill?”

“That would explain chopping up the T.V., “Allen said.

“Listen to that guy chop,” Shelly said. “Do you really think that sweet little girl is safe?” “For now, but let’s see if we can find a way to stop this thing.”

Shelly flipped the switch on her flashlight. “Can ghosts see in the dark?” “I guess we can. Let me go down ahead of you?”

Shelly waited on the stairs her flashlight aimed down at the basement floor.

Suddenly there was a loud crash behind her and the door slammed shut so hard Shelly lost hold of the flashlight and it fell to the floor. “Allen, I dropped the light.”

There wasn’t any reply. “Allen? Where the heck are you?” Shelly reached back for the door handle. “Of course it won’t work,” she muttered. “Allen, I’m locked in. Come on. This isn’t funny.”

“Come down,” Allen said. “Use the railing and come down.”

Shelly placed her hand on the wood railing and moved down the stairs one step at a time. “Allen, where are you?”

“I’m here. Follow my voice.”

Shelly felt along the wall. It was rough textured. She was groping along the wall when a hand slammed down on top of her hand and held it. Shelly felt her hand turn to ice and in the dark felt a sticky fluid oozing from under her palm. “What are you doing, Allen,” she screamed as she smelled blood seeping from her wound. “Allen?”

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